Insights to Power Social Good

Text to Give vs. Text to Donate: A Battle Royale

Posted by Jonathan Bray on Mar 31, 2016 3:15:13 PM



Welcooooooomeeeee to the MAINNNNN EVEEEENT!


Text to Give vs. Text to Donate are two essential fundraising tools to reach the next generation of donors…


“But what’s better? How do they stack up?? Is there an underdog? TELL ME NOW!!!” - You exclaim with sheer confidence.


Well good thing you’ve come to the right spot…It’s an old fashioned showdown.


We’re rolling with the punches to figure out  the differences between  these two heavyweights of  fundraising to stack up your cause.


It’s might get dicey in there, but rest assured, just like how rock beats scissors and scissors beats paper… Text to Give & Text to Donate are both incredibly useful for your fundraising efforts… it just depends on the situation.


Can you handle the heat?! Well, let’s see how these two match up as they  go head to head.


Don’t you worry, we’ve got the pay-per-view ordered, wings delivered, and the 60” screen, so you can just sit back, dip your chips into delicious salsa, and enjoy the spectacle.


Ding. Ding.



What is “Text to Give”?


Text to Give is a donation that’s triggered by a text message to that person’s cell phone bill. Take a peek...

That is to say no one has to fumble around with their credit card while spilling their popcorn or soda down the back of the lady in front of them.


It’s just two steps. As simple as a one-two punch!


In fact you can complete your donation in 10 seconds.


Talk about a quick jabs...




Text to Give is available in $5, $10, $25 increments.


Text to Give is tremendously effective when you have a short window to make a connection with someone and it's lightning fast.


We find this works best in situations like:

  • Concerts
  • Sporting Events
  • Media or Telethon Events
  • Disaster Relief Fundraising


Text to Give is perfect for impulse decisions. We also know from the our Text Giving Study that some donors prefer Text to Give because they like the anonymity. They like that they don’t have to provide a lot of information.


This is utilized best when you only have a few seconds of a prospective donor’s attention…. Especially when they’re unaware of your cause, disengaged, or in attendance for another purpose with their attention wrapped up in whatever they’re doing.


A good portion of those people will be engrossed in their phone already anyway… GREAT! Let’s (1) Grab their attention… then (2) call them to text in!


So let’s recap strengths:

  • Easiest and quickest way to fulfil donations. Period.
  • Best way to engage those large reach opportunities of people who are relatively unaware of your cause or when there’s a lot vying for their attention.
  • When people have an emotional and immediate impulse to help such as Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, etc.
  • $5, $10, $25 donation price points are in the sweet spot of these situations.


After your donor fulfills their donation you can request that they join your mobile community so you can continue to cultivate the relationship… remember text is unrivaled when it comes to communications.


So Text to Give is like a mongoose… quick repeated jabs to fundraising success.


What is Text to Donate?

Text to Donate is a donation that’s triggered by a text message that returns a trackable link back to a mobile responsive landing page, where you can take a credit or debit card donation. Take a look...



Text to Donate is one lean, mean, FUNDRAISING machine!


Since there is more activation energy required to get to one’s credit or debit card, punch in the information, it does take a bit longer to fulfil the donations.  


That’s why we advocate for Text to Donate in situations where your donors are a little more familiar with or tuned in for your worthy mission.


If you don’t have a readily available mobile - optimized donation page with the fewest fields possible, you’re in luck.. Because you can use one of ours!  So even though it’s not as quick as Text to Give, it’s the quickest way to input a card for a user.


Here’s how Text to Donate is awesome:

  • Text to Donate allows a donor to give any amount
  • You can promote recurring donations… which is HUGE!
    • For donors that want to support your cause but don’t have tons of money sitting around to donate large amounts in one time sums, ask them to contribute smaller amounts over time. It’s a great way to build meaningful relationships with donors over time.
  • Individuals who text in will be automatically subscribed to your mobile community so that you can continue the conversation, cultivate the relationship, and ask for more donations over time.

Since we find text to donate works very well with donors that are a little more engaged with your cause, we find this works best in situations like:

  • Your Fundraising Events
  • Galas or Black Tie Fundraising Events
  • Social Media

NOTE: on social media…



YASSSSSS it is easier to have someone click a link from social media and fill out a donation form on a mobile landing page…




You will miss out on the ability to send text messages to them later. You’re probably aware how you can only reach a small percentage of your followers on facebook organically… even if those people ‘liked’ your page… i.e. indicated they enjoy your content and want to hear from you.


What a low blow, FaceBeard!

Utilizing text call to actions to convert social followers to email and mobile subscribers is one of the most important strategies to leverage the power of reach on social media into something actionable for your cause.


“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu


Mobile numbers are the absolute best ways to reach your donors, get your message across, and have far higher retention and open rates on communication than email.


So let’s recap stengths:

  • Text to Donate is still a fast way to fulfil donations on individuals on mobile devices. (just not as fast as Text to Give)
  • Can gain much higher donations from individuals with credit or debit card
  • Best when people are already tuned into your message
  • You’re able to tell a more compelling story for donations via video, text narrative, and images.
  • You can cultivate the relationship over time to solicit more donations


Bonus Round: The Art of Calling to Action

Be sure to speak to your mission when you deliver a text call to action and convey the importance of supporting your organization with a financial contribution.

Even though we’ve made it as absolutely simple as humanly possible to donate with Text to Give or Text to Donate, people donate because they feel personally compelled to take action.

If you have the time, we highly recommend you repeat the call to action. The first time let’s people know the donation appeal and that text is an option to fulfill that. Subsequent reminders will increase the likelihood that someone will donate.

The key to the best conversion on the donations is repetition VISUALLY and AUDITORILY. We’ve found just putting up on a screen “Text KEYWORD to XXXXX” will return smaller conversions.

Put yourself in their boxing boots, you’re at an event where tons of things are vying for your attention. Utilize a speaker, emcee, or voice announcer to repeat the text call to action with an emotional appeal that maps to your mission. The more compelling your words, the more donations that will be fulfilled.


If you’re considering adding Text to Give or Text to Donate to your fundraising mix, click here for more information!




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Topics: nonprofit, text to give, Fundraising, Text to Donate

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